The government will set up a National Data Governance Policy to unleash innovation and research by start-ups and academia, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in the Budget 2023-24, on Wednesday.

“This will enable access to anonymised data,” she said.

Meanwhile, for simplification of the Know Your Customer (KYC) process, she said it will be simplified by adopting a ‘risk-based’ instead of a ‘one size fits all’ approach. “The financial sector regulators will also be encouraged to have a KYC system fully amenable to meet the needs of Digital India,” the FM said.

A one-stop solution for reconciliation and updating of identity and address of individuals maintained by various government agencies, regulators and regulated entities will also be established using DigiLocker service and Aadhaar as foundational identity.

“For the business establishments required to have a permanent account number, the PAN will be used as the common identifier for all digital systems of specified government agencies. This will bring ease of doing business, and it will be facilitated through a legal mandate,” she added.

According to Ashwini Vaishnaw, Minister Communications, Electronics & IT, the Data Governance Policy will help generate a lot of non-personal data from government agencies, which can in return be used for the betterment of various sectors.

“The National Data Governance Policy relates to non-personal data available to government... for example, the weather data... statistical data of various projects in the country... there are various data that can be used to provide better delivery services to the citizens... that is the objective of the policy,” he said.

IT industry body Nasscom said that the proposal to unlock the full potential of Digilocker, simplify the KYC regime, and introduce other enabling measures for innovation and digital adoption is in line with the trend the industry has seen over the last few years and is welcome.

“Budget 2023 could undoubtedly be termed as a blueprint for India @100. It touched upon all the critical aspects required to position India as a leader in terms of digital offerings, along with a focus on talent and sustainability,” it said.

According to Amit Chadha, CEO and MD, L&T Technology Services, National Data Governance Bill will open up a wide range of opportunities for business growth and employment generation.

“Such a mass-scale enablement of digital transformation and innovation will unlock the full potential of the Indian engineering and technology sector. It will also result in complementing uptake of digital engineering capabilities resulting in the country maintaining its stronghold as a global preferred destination for engineering services,” he said.